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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A Grip on Sports: We want everyone to rest easy, knowing we aren’t going into the transfer portal – at least without assurances of big bucks

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Before we go any further today, we want to assure everyone we are not transferring. We’ll reveal the hype video sometime soon. Thought we ought to share that in case you were worried.


• Oh, sure, there are great NIL opportunities at other schools. And our position coach has left town. But no matter. We’re all in here. To make it official, we’ll post something on Insta soon.

Let’s run it back, shall we?

That being said, we do have a few requests. Well, demands really, but let’s not get caught up in semantics. We want to be able to sleep in a half-hour later on Sundays. And every other Wednesday, we would love it if a S-R booster would hire someone to come to the house and help us put out the recycling. The blue bin gets heavy.

Other than that, we’re good. Hopefully, we’ll help our squad compete for a Pulitzer next year. All we need is your support. You know that $50 you were thinking of giving to the food bank, or that car you were donating to help the homeless, if that went toward our collective, that would be great.

And remember to mention our name next time you call Door Dash. You’ll receive $5 off your order and we’ll get half of that. It’s a win-win.

That’s it. As always, go us!

• Is Sunday a bad day to use sarcasm? Is there a good day? We were just struck yesterday when we saw video of the Arizona crowd going nuts when it learned quarterback Noah Fifita and receiver Tetairoa McMillan would be staying in Tucson. That’s where we’ve come, isn’t it?

From the jarring news that someone is leaving a school a couple decades ago to a celebration when a pair of players decide to stay instead of following a head coach out of town. Evolution, man. Unstoppable.

Oh, sure, the Wildcats lost their leading rusher. He’s headed to Washington to play for Jedd Fisch. Meanwhile, the Huskies will be without their best offensive lineman. He’s headed to Alabama to play for Kalen DeBoer. The Tide, though, won’t have their best defensive back. He’s headed to Ohio State, who now looks like it is the class of the Big Ten and a national-title contender.

Got all that? Heck, if people still bought programs, the sales themselves would fund Humberto Lopez’s next missive about Fisch’s betrayal.

It’s wild, it’s wacky and it’s not limited to the West.

• OK, back to the what you really care about. Will Taylor Swift make the trip to Buffalo? Just kidding, though if she does, you can probably bet the money line in Vegas on whether she and Travis Kelce will tie the knot. Gee whiz. Watching the nation’s favorite tight end play in KC is one thing. Buffalo? That’s devotion. Wonder if she will have to shovel out her seat of if she’ll pay someone $20 an hour to do it for her?

And you wondered why People magazine offered us our own Dairy Queen franchise to transfer? Turned them down though. Mainly because we’ve been given assurances an In-N-Out is opening in Spokane soon and we will earn 3% of the profits.

• There no way to segue into Saturday’s results, is there? Not that we can think of one. But we will say Gonzaga’s men picked up an expected, but needed, win in San Diego, the women did the same at home, WSU’s men suffered a maddening loss, Eastern’s men and women both showed why they are atop the Big Sky standings and Idaho? Well, let’s skip over the Vandals for now. Maybe next year will be their year.

As for the NFL, Baltimore is pretty good isn’t it? Heck, there might be three AFC teams – the Ravens and both KC and Buffalo – that are better than the NFC’s best. We’re still assuming it’s the 49ers but they sure didn’t look the part yesterday. Especially after they blew a cylinder in their offensive engine. Without Deebo Samuel’s multi-faceted threat, San Francisco’s attack was quite a bit more pedestrian.

And yet here we are. The 49ers not only playing for another NFC title, they will do it at home. With either Baker Mayfield’s Buccaneers or Jared Goff’s Lions as the opponent. Neither opponent seems scary, do they? Great.

Once again a team in the Seahawks’ division probably will be playing for a Super Bowl crown. While Seattle reboots everything. Maybe the Hawks can entice a couple players to enroll … oh wait. That’s not how it works. There is a salary cap in the NFL. And no deep-pocketed boosters. Man, it’s hard to keep everything straight.


WSU: The Cougars couldn’t shoot straight down the stretch – how’s that for a segue? – and needed a last-second Myles Rice 3-pointer to force overtime at under-.500 California. Where they got a bit boat-raced. A seven-point lead with a little over 2 minutes left turned into an 81-75 loss. That hurts. Greg Woods was there and has this story. … The women host Arizona today, with the Wildcats having lost four recent games by a basket. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12 and the nation, it wasn’t a good weekend for the Northwest’s teams. At least on the men’s side. Washington, like the Cougars, split in the Bay Area, losing Saturday to Stanford, 90-80. They’ll leave the Pac-12 having lost four consecutive times at Stanford. … Oregon State had no chance in Boulder yesterday, losing 90-57 to Colorado. … Oregon doesn’t play until today, when it meets Utah in Salt Lake City. The Ducks have owned the Utes. … UCLA’s final visit to Tucson was as memorable as any. The Bruins led by 19 points but the players and coaches melted down as Arizona rallied for a 77-71 victory. … USC never really fought, losing its fourth consecutive game, this one 82-67 at Arizona State. … Among the women, third-ranked Colorado needs to bounce back quickly from its loss to No. 5 UCLA, as it hosts No. 6 USC today. … Oregon faces California. … In football news, one offense line starter will be back for Oregon State next season. … There was a bit of a NIL-caused kerfuffle in Boulder this week. … No such problems at Arizona.

Gonzaga: Let’s see. To start the second half Thursday night at Pepperdine, the Zags left the locker room and ripped off a 21-3 run. To start the game last night in San Diego, they came out and scored 33 of the first 42 points. That’s a 54-12 margin. Pretty much assures two wins, doesn’t it. That’s exactly what happened, with the second coming 105-63 against the Toreros. Theo Lawson has the story of a rout that moved the Zags up five spots, to 30, in the NCAA’s NET rankings. … Jim Meehan added the difference makers and a story on Ben Gregg overcoming back spasms to give the Bulldogs another boost. … Tyler Tjomsland has the photo report from the Slim Gym. … The folks in the office put together the recap with highlights. … The women had no trouble with visiting Saint Mary’s, cracking down defensively en route to an 89-60 victory. Greg Lee has the story and Jesse Tinsley has the photo gallery. … Elsewhere in the WCC, Saint Mary’s is alone atop the men’s standings after handling USF with ease. … Santa Clara topped Portland 101-86.

EWU: We were in Cheney yesterday afternoon, watching a second half that showed why the Eagle women are in first place in the Big Sky. With Jamie Loera scoring inside and out (and finding open teammates), they raced away from Idaho State for a 68-46 victory. … The men were in Pocatello, but the final outcome was the same, though the score, 79-67, was a bit tighter. … Elsewhere in the Big Sky, the Montana men won in Bozeman but the Montana State women didn’t allow the Griz to sweep the Brawl games. … Northern Colorado’s men and women both picked up wins over Portland State. … Northern Arizona’s men have won five consecutive home games.

Idaho: Weber State turned on the jets in the second half and ran away from the Vandal men in Ogden, winning 88-65. … The Wildcat women also played better after halftime, putting together a 13-2 run that resulted in a 61-56 victory over UI in Moscow.

Whitworth: The Pirates’ first game of the weekend resulted in their first win, 85-64 over visiting Pacific Lutheran. They’ll play their postponed Friday game against Puget Sound this evening at 4 p.m.

Preps: We can pass along a roundup of Saturday’s action, which includes some indoor track and field results.

Chiefs: Spokane headed to Wenatchee yesterday and Dawson Cowan made the trip a productive one. His 37 saves helped the Chiefs earn a 2-1 victory. Dave Nichols has the story.

Kraken: Let’s see. A hit that wasn’t penalized in any way, but was obviously illegal, has cost Seattle Matty Beniers for an indefinite time. A debatable hit from the Kraken’s Yanni Gourde resulted in a two-game suspension. No wonder Dave Hakstol is ticked at the NHL’s enforcement process.


• Oh, by the way, if anyone comes up with a better offer, we’re out of here in a minute. Maybe two. As long as we can be somewhere warmer every January. Until later …